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<<And those people only can be in stories if they're their to illuminate some aspect of the crippled queer fat black Asian gay lesbian trans intersex non-neurotypical African Sikh Muslim Hindu Latino female whatever experience to the able Western white cis het male gaze****.>>
I suppose some have the simplistic idea that they're being told that they must tell a story about crippled queer fat black asian gay etc. struggles closely paralleled to modern society if they wish their work to be accepted.
They are not listening.
I want to continue to write adventure stories, not examinations of various religious doctrines or allegories about gender relations. I would not like it, Sam I Am, if I were told adventure stories in and of themselves are no good and that I cannot write them any more.
But no one is telling me that.
If I can write an adventure story where some of the characters happen to be women or lesbian or, I dunno, ancient Arabian, say, and they're realized human beings, not stereotypes, I like to think that I'm on the right path.
To my mind, the focus shouldn't be on how a character is this or that label, but how they're human. If, over the course of events in the story some of the crappy way society treats them gets showcased so that we can think about it in a realistic way, fabulous (or, conversely, if I'm creating a society where a default prejudice just isn't there, then hopefully that absence showcases its presence in the real world).
The best episodes of the original Star Trek* managed to tell cracking good adventure stories that also had pretty cool messages. I like that, very much.
*It must be remembered that as sexist as the original ST looks now, the female actors say that they felt liberated, and so, apparently, did the women watching those women on the pretend starship. It is hard to grok it when you see the Star Fleet officers in the short skirts, but the ability to wear those was a kind of freedom that US women hadn't known. And the idea of a woman, a black woman, on the bridge and in the chain of command, was almost more than the network execs could stand. Even if Uhura, in retrospect, was sort of a telephone operator, she was still a black woman in a senior officer's role, with an entire department answering to her. Then there was that heroic, capable Asian guy manning the helm, and the Russian guy next to him in the midst of the cold war, and the satanic looking first officer, and the engineer from Scotland. I could go on.